your logo is your identity!

so, what’s the big deal with having a logo??? if you’re selling a product or providing some type of service – whatever type of business you have, small or large, sole proprietor or corporation – your logo means everything!!! it’s what i like to call “your first impression” to the public. it is the symbol that “identifies” you like a driver’s license or any other type of i.d. for starters, let’s begin with a definition:

lo•go noun – a symbol or other small design adopted by an organization to identify it’s products, uniform, vehicles, etc.

important note: a logo is a “symbol” or “small design” – not an illustration! i’ve seen numbers of so-called logos for businesses that are too detailed to be called an identity. i’ve even been asked to design very detailed logos and to help the clients i had to nicely talk them out of having such a concept made. it defeats the purpose of having a mark or symbol that’s simple yet distinct enough to be recognized without trying to figure it out!

the collage above is a clear example of good logo design. these marks are highly recognizable, not just because we all know them, but they are simple and distinct enough that even the name of the business can be omitted. you know you’ve got a really good logo when the same design works for more than 20 years! think about it: how long have the golden arches been around – and they haven’t changed. oh, they may have undergone a few upgrades and revisions every 10 years or more. but, the golden arches have remained. the red target is another highly recognizable symbol. so much so that if you see a similar red target used for another business, you’re bound to think of the department store first before realizing that it represents something much different. another symbol that has been revised a few times is the apple with the bite on the right and the floating leaf on top. no matter what color it is, it’s immediately associated with the computer manufacturing company.

now, there are a number of other “symbols” out there that are simple enough to follow the logo formula, but are just products of bad design. many of them fail to properly represent the company they symbolize. sometimes they can be too simple, or rather vague, that they have absolutely no meaning at all. these are the ones most likely designed by someone within the company – possibly in an administrative position, with no design skills whatsoever. they may be able to use whatever software is at their disposal. even if it’s a fully-equipped, readily available creative suite – just because you have the designer’s tools does not make you a designer! the skills begin with the person wielding the tools! the ideas come from the right side of the brain before they are manifested on a computer screen.

so, as you begin to contemplate having a logo designed/re-designed for your organization, please consider it to be created by someone gifted to conceive an idea that would best represent or identify your company. a lot of thought goes into logo design, as well as a lot of money invested (unless you get a sweet deal). depending upon how successful you want your business to be, it’s worth spending a few hundred (or thousand) dollars for the right, effective brand. no matter how good your brochures, direct mail pieces or websites may look, they will only look as good as your logo looks – and works!!! that’s where it starts!

note: i do not endorse the companies whose logos are represented above, but i am or have been a patron from time to time 😉